Thursday, June 27, 2013

Painting my First Kickstarter Bones Figure: 1 of 264

     I thought I would start his blog to chronicle my efforts painting all my Bones Kickstarter figures, and that doing so would help keep me on task with my painting.  I also hope it would provide incentive for others to work on their Bones Kickstarter figures. I had big dreams that I would paint one a day, and post them here; so in a little less than a year I would have the entire set done.  And then reality set in.  To do a lot of these figures justice takes more than a one day paint job; and basing, flocking, varnishing, and matte coating are all steps that slow down the final results.  So, I have changed my goals to a more realistic one or two figures a week.
     My first decision to make was what figure to paint to inaugurate my blog.  It didn't take long as I pawed through the box of figures, to settle on the Mr Bones Reaper Kickstarter mascot figure, as the most obvious choice for first candidate. I also selected the large Rock Golem from the Forces of Nature add on pair (the Not-Gorignak for you Galaxy Quests fans!), and a couple of magic users pulled randomly out of the bag in which I had put the Original 30 Bones figures, to follow up with.
     I would like to say that this was the first ever Bones figure I painted, but I had the good fortune to paint one before (a ghost) at the Reaper Paint-and-Take tables at Origins '12.  So this would be my second ever Bones figure.  I thought I would do these first few, exactly as Reaper suggests, straight out of the package with little prep. I did have to straighten out the shovel on Mr Bones as it had been bent a little in shipping.  I easily did this by holding the figure in the steam-stream from a tea kettle for a few seconds. I also had to trim down some mold line flash.

     I first glued the figure to a 1" black-primed fender washer, and then glued that to a tongue depressor. For painting the Bones I plan to use my basic assortment of craft acrylic paints with a smattering of some GW paints I own. I started by painting the whole Mr Bones figure black.  I then drybrushed the cloaks with a mid-tone blue-gray.  Next I painted the shovel handle dark brown and the skull mask a pale buttermilk color. While these dried I painted the lacings on his under-robe red. Then I went back and did some tan highlights on the shovel handle's grain, and painted the mask highlight's white.
    Next I did the skin, painting a dark ruddy flesh base, and then highlighting it.  The rope/noose belt followed with a brown base and tan highlights.  Finally I did the shovel blade in dark metal with silver highlights.  When dry I used brush on varnish, and then flocked the base.  A coat of Testor's Dullcote finished the job. 

I'm please with the results on this figure.  It was a good choice for a starter, as it is a simple rather straight forward sculpt with lots of good detail, and very quick to paint up.  Figure 1 of 264 done.


  1. Very well done on Mr. Bones. I just painted him myself but I went brown robes. Good luck with the plan and I really REALLY hope you stay on it b/c that would be a great accomplishment!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement! I hope I'm able to stay on task as well. It's hard with so many distractions in my already large lead pile. :-)

    2. Definitely please stay on the task! (:

      I'm a new painter and finding these tutorials VERY useful. If you have any Reaper paints, please use them. Many n00b painters learn from the Reaper Learn to Paint Kits.

      Hot water with a little dish soap followed by cool water worked fine for some bent Bones I had. I don't want your fingers hurt with steam burns! (:

      Keep up the good work!

    3. A little late to the game... just 4 years! ;)
      But I'm loving all this as I am a VERY new painter.

      Thanks! :)

    4. Welcome, JohnnyRockets! Be sure to ask any questions you might have as you read the articles. Also, I encourage you to check out the Reaper Forum for lots of great advice and inspiration on painting your Bones:

    5. Excellent! I'll check out that forum for sure!


  2. Nice paintjob with it!

  3. Pease, could you tell the newbie how do you apply the first layer of black paint?
    The questions are:
    1) Do you thin your paint for the first layer?
    2) Do you use brush instead of aerosol/airbrush for the first layer?

    I have my first set of Bones and I'm a little confused by water-repellency. I'm going to apply first coat of black unthinned paint by brush and try not to smear any detail. Then I'll use normal techniques. I'm nervous to screw the details by unthinned paint, but my tests confirmed that I can't apply watered paint as the first layer.
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Peter- On this figure, I just used the paint straight out of the bottle. On some later figures I used an aerosol spray. (But be careful what brand you use, some are not compatible with Bones and will make them sticky.) On the more current ones I'm painting, I use Reaper Liner washes. This Mr Bones figure was the second ever Bones figure I painted, and it was 5 years ago. You might also want to check out some of my more current efforts:

      Also, I strongly encourage you to read this article from the Reaper Forum about Bones prep:

    2. Thank you very much! Your answer is exactly what I was looking for. Turns out I know this article at it is really helpful, but I needed the last clarification to begin.
      I'll definitely keep an eye on your blog. You explain some methods I've never heard about (handmade washes, after-varnish use of Testors Dullcote). Cheers!

    3. Glad I could be of help. If you have any more questions as you go, feel free to ask.